• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    riverdaughter on October is Breast Cancer Aware…
    riverdaughter on October is Breast Cancer Aware…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Debate Fallout
    Seagrl on October is Breast Cancer Aware…
    Seagrl on Debate Fallout
    Seagrl on Debate Fallout
    William on Debate Fallout
    Ga6thDem on Debate Fallout
    William on Category: Things that make us…
    Sweet Sue on Category: Things that make us…
    Sweet Sue on October is Breast Cancer Aware…
    jmac on Category: Things that make us…
    William on Category: Things that make us…
    katiebird on October is Breast Cancer Aware…
    jmac on Category: Things that make us…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    October 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Sep    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Chaos demon strikes again
      It was the first meeting Trump had with Pelosi since the impeachment began, and today House Republicans broke ranks to join Dems in a vote against his Syria withdrawal. He basically threw a tantrum and yelled at Pelosi, who has raised five kids and knows to ignore them. So the Dems walked out of the … Continue reading Chaos demon strikes again
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • AOC, Ilhan Omar and Tlaib Endorse Sanders
      I find it interesting that  many centrists are angered and surprised. They though these, arguably the most progressive members of the House caucus, would endorse Warren. Certainly by recent standards Warren is progressive and left leaning, but she’s weak sauce compared to Sanders. But centrists thought because she was a woman, AOC, Tlaib and Omar […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

International Women’s Day and Chellie Pingree

Gotta make this quick because I have a lot of driving to do today.

Today is International Women’s Day.  I know, I know, it seems like it comes earlier and earlier every year.

So, what did America get for its women this year?  We’re all of 17% of the Senate, which is, by the way, pathetic.  Well, don’t expect that to get any better come November.  Maybe if we’re lucky we can add Elizabeth Warren and we’ll still have only 17%.

In Maine, Representative Chellie Pingree, a liberal Democrat, was disuaded from running for Olympia Snowe’s seat by Angus King, the former governor.  See Digby’s post from yesterday for all of the bloody details.  The summary goes like this: Pingree was going to run for Snowe’s seat but then King decided he wanted to go for it.  The numbers were on her side until King jumped in.  King is going run as an independent.  Pingree did the numbers on a 3 way race and decided it was too risky with King in it.  Sooooo, guess who the Democrats decided to back?

If you guessed Pingree, you would be wrong.  They’ve decided to throw their support behind King.  King has suggested that he will caucus with the Democrats and will become their Lieberman replacement.  Isn’t that special?

To recap: The Democrats had an opportunity to pick up a seat in Maine AND retain one more seat for a woman.  But when they had to make a choice to throw all of their effort behind a candidate, they chose to throw it behind a man who isn’t even in their party.  Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

Now, a lot of you are going to say that this is Maine and we don’t know Maine and King was a popular governor and the tea leaves were inauspicious, blah-blah-blah.  You know, I just don’t see it that way.  I see this as a horribly missed opportunity to replace a woman in a seat which American women simply can not afford to lose to a man.  Sometimes, bigger ideas and concepts should take precedent over Democratic party expediency.

And I’m not buying the Supreme Court argument.  If Olympia Snowe hadn’t resigned, she would have gone on to keep this seat for the Republicans and the burden of getting that Supreme Court justice protecting seat would have gone to the other Democratic candidates who are running.  In other words, nothing would have changed except there would have been one more woman running for a senate seat.  It’s unlikely that the rabid Republican running for the seat from Maine would have changed that.  He only has one vote and he could only vote for the person the Republicans tell him to vote for.  He doesn’t get to nominate a more radical Supreme Court nominee all on his own.

In fact, it’s surprising that any of us are buying this Supreme Court justification for passing over Chellie Pingree.  More likely, the Democrats are more comfortable with King and not with Pingree.  Pingree would be one more progressive voice, another pro-choice woman who might have expected the party to act like real Democrats.  Can’t have that.  It’s not the first time this has happened either.  Here in NJ-07, the Democrats strongly backed Linda Stender in 2006 when she lost by a mere 4000 or so votes but abandoned her in 2008 when she really needed their help.  NJ-07 is a reliably Republican seat so for a pro-choice, anti-war, liberal Democrat to get so close to winning in 2006 was an extraordinary accomplishment and makes it particularly maddening that the Democrats pretty much left her to her fate in 2008.  NJ-07 is now stuck with Leonard Lance, a Republican.  What’s happening to Pingree seems very familiar.  And let me make it clear: Stender’s case was not a cautionary tale.  It was an example of something ugly that crept into the party in 2008.  This district was winnable but the Democrats went out of their way to ignore Stender and didn’t lift a finger to help her.

I’m really starting to have negative feelings towards this version of the Democratic party and to those of you who are starting to feel increasingly uneasy about what you’re seeing, welcome to the club.  It’s just too bad you are 4 years too late.

So, on this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate America’s progress as leaders of, oh, hell, let’s just not celebrate.  I don’t feel like it this year.

Advertisements

Thursday: Here it comes

UpdateII: If you’re an ex-pharma scientist who has been laid off recently (and who in central NJ isn’t?) you really have to read this post on In the Pipeline about what Pharmaceutical CEOs really think of you.  It’s about Chris Viehbacher of Sanofi (waving “Hi!” to all the ex-sanofi people).  I’m past the stage where this kind of thing strikes me as anything but unintentional humor.  But people who actually care about preserving what’s left of research in this country and how long and hard researchers work only to be misused and discarded by the bonus class, should take note.  Pretty soon, all you’re going to be able to buy are overpriced generics.  No new drug entities will be coming out of drug discovery because there won’t *be* any drug discovery.  No one will want to work under these conditions.  This is the clearest explanation of how the bonus class wants to turn professionals into precariats that I’ve ever read and it’s coming to a workplace near you.

Update: Andrew Breitbart is dead.  He was 43.  Fox News is reporting that he died of natural causes but there’s nothing natural about dying at 43.  I’m going with apoplexy.  This must be very unexpected and sad for his family.  Or maybe not.  Rageaholics tend to be difficult.  Maybe his blood vessels just refused to cooperate any longer.  Let this be a lesson to Glenn Beck.

The Republicans have us in a vise and now they’re going to start turning the screws.  The NY Times reports today that speculators are going to push gas prices to over $5/gallon this summer. That’s going to wreck further havoc on the economy:

HOUSTON — Gasoline for $5 a gallon? The possibility is hardly far-fetched.

With no clear end to tensions withIran and Syria and rising demand from countries like China, gas prices are already at record highs for the winter months — averaging $4.32 in California and $3.73 a gallon nationally on Wednesday, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. As summer approaches, demand for gasoline rises, typically pushing prices up around 20 cents a gallon.

And gas prices could rise another 50 cents a gallon or more, analysts say, if the diplomatic and economic standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions escalates into military conflict or there is some other major supply disruption.

“If we get some kind of explosion — like an Israeli attack or some local Iranian revolutionary guard decides to take matters in his own hands and attacks a tanker — than we’d see oil prices push up 20 to 25 percent higher and another 50 cents a gallon at the pump,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research.

For the typical driver who pumps 60 gallons a month of regular unleaded gasoline, a 50-cent increase in price means an extra expense of $30 a month.

Ooo, can’t you just feel Michael Lynch squirming with delicious anticipation at the prospect of explosions in the Strait of Hormuz?  Hey, kiddies, do you remember the first oil crisis in the 70s when people were stealing gas from each others cars and gas was rationed?  Remember the line of cars around the block to the gas station early in the morning?  Remember when Daylight Savings Time was extended into the winter and we trudged to school in the snow in the dark?  Were those good times or what?

Now, before people go off half cocked about Iran, understand that this has absolutely nothing to do with Iran.  Iran is just an excuse to push up gas prices.  The oilmen need some kind of cover for the politically motivated cruelty they’re about to impose.  They’re probably counting on the left to take the bait and have a shit fit over Iran, because lefties don’t think this out any better than average Americans who just want to get to work without spending half of the grocery budget.  The average American doesn’t have time to investigate all of the causes of the spike in gas prices that is severely impacting their lives.  Who are they going to believe anyway?  You can’t trust the NY Times.  Remember what they did on the Iraq War.  No, it’s just going to look bad for Obama.  Why can’t he *do* something?

But gas is just part of it.  There are all of the downstream industries that rely on transportation.  The price of everything is going to go up, particularly food.  And since the Lesser Depression started, there are a lot more people struggling on smaller incomes and significantly smaller salaries.  It’s going to hurt.

What *is* Obama going to do?  He wasn’t particularly good at dealing with the bankers when they threatened domestic terrorism.  They pretty much got everything they wanted.  We footed the bill to bail them out.  And Obama’s going to be dealing with a Congress that’s going to be campaigning during the summer.  A hostile House isn’t going to want to cooperate by punishing the speculators.  They’ll just point to Iran and Obama when their constituents start screaming about gas prices.  And it will work.

It doesn’t matter who is in charge when the pain is inflicted, it’s going to look bad for them.  Gas prices are just the tip of the iceberg.  You can bet the Republicans have a lot more up their sleeves.  And in a way, you can’t really blame voters for reacting as they will.  Obama is in charge and he’s shown over and over again that he’s completely useless in alleviating misery.  Maybe another president would have handled this differently but we’re stuck with Obama.  And voters are bound to feel like they were betrayed.  They went to the polls in 2008 to elect a Democrat and instead got a guy who’s not really comfortable with party labels.  He’s into conciliation and negotiation with the interested parties in private conference rooms away from the public.  Let’s not get the legislative process involved here.  It’s too messy and real people will get involved.

Just because I can see what the Republicans are up to doesn’t mean I approve of Republicans.  But politics has devolved from public service to a vicious “winner takes all” game.  And in this kind of environment, it doesn’t help that your champion is a guy who has no idea how to play.

As Olympia Snowe suggested yesterday about her retirement, these kinds of maneuvers are meant to corner the opposition:

“Everybody’s got to rethink how we approach legislating and governance in the United States Senate,” Ms. Snowe said in an interview on Wednesday. She shook her head at how “we’ve miniaturized the process in the United States Senate,” no longer allowing lawmakers to shape or change legislation and turning every vote into a take-it-or-leave-it showdown intended to embarrass the opposition.

The target is Obama, the rest of us are collateral damage.  I’m sick of this game and ready to take my ball and go home.

**********************

Speaking of that Times article on Olympia Snowe’s retirement, we have the writers lamenting the demise of the centrists in the Senate:

Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the senator often considered the most conservative Democrat, and Ms. Snowe, seen as the most liberal Republican, will both be gone next year, as will Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who left a Democratic Party that would not tolerate his pro-Iraq war stand. They follow a parade of centrists out the Senate doors in recent years, including the Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh; a Republican-turned-Democrat, Arlen Specter; and two Republicans-turned-independents, James M. Jeffords and Mr. Chafee.

You know, none of us Democrats or Democrats in Exile are wasting any sleep on the imminent departure of Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson or recent departure of Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh.  They were part of the problem, always trotted out to broker a deal just before some vote where Democrats were expected by their constituency to take a principled stand.  And for years now, Democratic voters have been fighting with their party leadership about what direction the party is going to go.  Arlen Specter is a perfect example of this.  The Democrats would rather back a former Republican than put all of their resources backing the guy who actually won the primary.  A similar thing happened with Hillary in 2008 where she was constantly undermined by her own party apparatus who very clearly had its thumb on the scales for Obama.  The party leadership has a bad habit of punishing the voters who insist on actually, you know, voting. As the years roll on, they’re giving us fewer and fewer reasons to go to the polls.

This health care amendment of Blunts should be an interesting one to watch.  How many Democrats are going to defect to pass it, allowing religious employers to start making exemptions for things they don’t like?  Will the Jehovah’s Witnesses stop covering life saving blood transfusions?  Will Christian Scientists stop covering everything?  What about Scientology’s conscience when it comes to psychology?  Will bipolar, schizophrenic and depressed patients now have to get their engrams expunged in place of prescription drugs?

Blunt’s bill is just another wedge issue.  It’s a way to test the Democrats and separate them from one of their constituent bases.  Will they cave to the religious and screw women or will they uphold the principle of separation of church and state in favor of the hussies?  Stay tuned.

********************

Jay Ackroyd praises Amanda Marcotte’s defense of women’s sexuality even though it is inconsistent with Amanda’s well known toadying for Barack Obama, a man who thinks women should have their menfolk and pastors weigh in on whether or not to have an abortion.  Let’s remember that Amanda passed on the woman in 2008 who was the staunchest defender of women’s rights and sexuality.  Delusions of hipness and loyalty to a party tends to override Amanda’s loyalty to her own sex no matter how much lip service she gives.  If Barack Obama and the Democrats think they can win this election by appealing to the religious and limiting women’s sexuality, they’ll do it in a heartbeat.  If you want progress on defending women’s sexuality from unwanted intrusion, it’s not the Republicans you have to warn people against.  They already know THAT enemy.  It’s the wishy washy, compromising pols of the Democratic party who are our worst enemies.

How much do you want to bet that if Obama signs a bill that includes Blunt’s amendment, Amanda will think up some excuse to deflect anger over Obama’s capitulation to the religionists at the expense of women’s sexuality?  It’s only meaningful if Amanda turns her back on Obama and Democrats like him, which she will never do.  She’s just a cowardly apologist whose actions do not match the power of her prose.

Jay, don’t be a Doormat Democrat like Amanda.

********************

This new Trustus Pharmaceuticals episode would be funnier if job counselors weren’t advising laid off scientists to get certification in all of this trendy MBA nonsense. This is the wave of the future:

Domo ariegato, Bitch!

************************

It has come to my attention that the forces of evil are spreading rumors that this site originated the birther movement.  I don’t particularly care for having to climb the water tower with a bucket of paint in order to defend our honor but nothing could be farther from the truth where birtherism is concerned.  We have always said that birtherism had no basis in reality and that people who insisted that it did were not welcome here.  It’s true.  You can comb through our archives.  We’ve told birthers that they’re wasting their time and that it doesn’t matter if your father was Osama bin Laden himself, if you were born in the US, you have a shot at the Oval Office.  Anyone who says otherwise is cracked.  And anyone who refuses to believe that the birth certificate that Obama produced was sufficient evidence of his natural citizenship without having a similar shit fit about any other politician they don’t like, is a hypocrite.  We asked PUMAs to focus on policies and behaviors that we could actually measure because there was plenty of material to work with in that regard that didn’t require an elaborate conspiracy theory.  Sorry, that’s the way I see it and have always seen it.

By the way, PUMA just means Party Unity My Ass.  It was an expression of disgust with the way the 2008 primaries were conducted to eliminate more than half of the Democratic base from participation.   It wasn’t ultra leftist at this site.  We’ve always said we’re FDR style Democrats in Exile.  I’m not sure there are any ultra leftists left in politics these days. I mean, what is that?  Pol Pot?

I’m betting that there are a lot of Democrats who have watched the last four years of anemic “leadership” from Obama who regret getting on our case in 2008, though they will never admit it in a zillion years.  As the saying goes, “One step ahead makes you a leader, two steps ahead makes you a martyr”.

Olympia Snowe retiring- Ruh-Roh

This was just announced.  Snowe is retiring, which means this is a good opportunity for a Democrat, or other party politician, to pick up a seat in the Senate.  But why now?

Snowe says:

In announcing her plans, Snowe, 65, emphasized that she is in good health and was prepared for the campaign ahead. But she said she was swayed by the increasing polarization in Washington.

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said in a statement. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”

Something about this sounds ominous.  I thought Snowe was the Republicans’ secret weapon, always looking so damned reasonable until she started getting all Columbo on some detail in the bill she wasn’t happy with.  We could always count on Snowe to renege on any agreement.

So, which partisanship is she most afraid of?  I’ve heard some rumbling today that Steney Hoyer is going to try to push through a grand bargain during the lame duck session.  Does that have anything to do with it?  Screw the Democrats one last time before she gets out of Dodge?  Or does she see something even worse coming up and wants to get out of the way while she can?

I’ll take a stab at this: She is perturbed by the recent turn her own party has taken and doesn’t like what they are asking her to sign on to.  They’re being very uncompromising and inflexible and maybe even Olympia Snowe has a line she isn’t willing to cross.  So she’s bailing and throwing the seat to the Democrats.  That’s what it looks like.  It sounds like what’s coming is so significant that even Snowe won’t play Lucy with the football this time.  She’d rather hand over her seat to the opposition.  It’s happened before with those damned New England Republicans.  Remember Jeffords and Chafee?

I’m guessing that they’re going for either Social Security or abortion.

Any hints? Allegations?  Suspicions?

And is Chellie Pingree going to go for this seat?  Losing another woman from the Senate, even if she is a Republican is one we can ill afford to lose.